Is Magic Leap’s surprise reveal of the Magic Leap One a glimpse at true genius?

There’s no doubting the Augmented Reality industry has been champing at the bit to find out what Magic Leap will actually produce.

The ‘spatial computing’ company has been a secretive member of the tech gang since 2010 and apart from some spectacular demos and much chatter, there hasn’t been a great deal to go on.

Until now. This has been the most anticipated immersive tech launch for years. The company has raised at least $1.4bn in funding since 2010, so that comes as little surprise. With around 1,500 employees working for the company, expectation was vast and perhaps, the hype was out of control.

It’s been a week and a bit since the Magic Leap One – costing $2,295 – was released to eager developers, so what are the initial impressions? Reviews are mixed, to say the least.

One of the first was Rachel Metz at MIT Technology Review. She notes that while the Magic Leap One delivers incredible imagery, that “killer app” is yet to appear.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611628/magic-leaps-headset-is-real-but-that-may-not-be-enough/

Adi Robertson at The Verge, meanwhile, believes the Magic Leap One is a good initial product, but it has a little way to go to match the competing Microsoft Hololens.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/8/17661758/magic-leap-one-mixed-reality-spatial-computing-headset-price-shipping-release-date

She shares that opinion in her accompanying video:

At Next Reality, Adario Strange is more positive. He praises “stunning clear and crisp” virtual objects, while calling it “incredibly polished and sophisticated. High praise indeed.

https://magic-leap.reality.news/news/magic-leaps-good-news-haters-are-wrong-bad-news-now-everyone-will-focus-apple-glasses-0186491/

And for a further round-up of options about the Magic Leap One, take a look at what Ben Gilbert at Business Insider had to say:

http://uk.businessinsider.com/magic-leap-one-hands-on-first-reviews-impressions-2018-8

The verdicts are mixed, but it should be pointed out that the Magic Leap One isn’t radically different to what we’ve seen before with the likes of Microsoft’s Hololens. That breakthrough – or ‘wow moment’, if you like – isn’t quiet there yet.

But was it fair to expect a wow moment? And was it fair to expect reality to live up to the hype?

The Magic Leap One has just entered the market, so I wouldn’t bet on it standing still just yet.